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FILMS

In IN THE NEWS on March 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

THE RWANDAN TRILOGY

THE RWANDAN NIGHT (2013, 95 min)

HOW NDAHAYO FILMED HIS WAY TO HOLLYWOOD SCREENS: https://ndahayogilbert.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/how-ndahayo-filmed-his-way-to-hollywood-screens.pdf

Awards :

  • 2014 ZIFF Sembene Ousmane Award (nominated)
  • 2013 SVAFF Best Documentary Feature Film Award
  • 2013 Berlinale Talent Campus / Doc Station (GERMANY)
  • 2011 Friends Of Rwanda (Sacramento / USA)

Trailer 5 Min


Download: PRESS KIT THE RWANDAN NIGHT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rwandan-Night/231059050328228

THE RWANDAN DAY (In production with estimated 75 min running time)

Download: THE RWANDAN DAY PROJECT INFO

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rwandan-Day/363238990412109

THE RWANDAN DAY (In development)

Info: A 45 min silent documentary film about Rwanda’s post-genocide realities.

COMPLETED FILMS

RWANDA: BEYOND THE DEADLY PIT

Documentary, Africa, History & Politics (released on VOD in 2012, 104 min)

VOD purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Rwanda-Beyond-The-Deadly-Pit/dp/B004RE8TMG/

Awards :

  • 2012 Best Documentary Africa Movie Academy Awards (Nominated)
  • 2012 IDFA DOCS FOR SALE
  • 2011 Best Documentary Feature Award (Winner), Santa Clara Commendation, US House of Represnetative – Congressional Special Recognition [Silicon Valley African Film Festival, 2011]
  • 2009 Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media (USA)

Official selection: Silicon Valley Film Festival, Afrika Film Fest Leuven, International Documentary Film Amsterdam, Maine African Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles

Download Press Kit HERE

SCARS OF MY DAYS

(released in 2006, 30 min)
World Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival
Golden Impala Amakula Award for First Time Filmmaker (2006)
Official selection: Maine African Film Festival, Cape Winelands Film Festival, Amakula Int’l Film Festival, Rwanda Film Fest, Zanzibar Int’l Film Fest

Download Press Kit HERE

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REVIEW OF RWANDA: BEYOND THE DEADLY PIT

In IN THE NEWS on February 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

Gilbert Ndahayo’s documentary film, Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit is an explosive work on what happened in Rwanda. It clearly makes every other film, based on the genocide that happened in Rwanda look like a caricature of some sort, whether fictitious or documentary.
African Oscars, 2012

The film itself looked at the “greatest personal failures” of former President Bill Clinton as it followed Gilbert Ndahayo, a survivor of the genocide on a journey back to Rwanda to attempt to rebury all 52 of his immediate family who were murdered before confronting and giving forgiveness to the murderer of his father.
Third International Genocide Conference, Sacramento State University, 2011

Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit has been nominated for 2012 AMAA for Best Documentary. AMAA is The Africa Movie Academy Awards – the African Oscars – the continent’s most prestigious awards for filmmakers.The nominees were announced in Banjul, the capital of Gambia, at an exclusive ceremony attended by celebrities, top government officials and capitals of industry from Gambia and other African countries.
For more information: http://www.ama-awards.com/news/nigeria-and-south-africa-lead-amaa-nominations

REVIEWS

Beyond the beauty of Rwanda | Africa Movie Academy Awards

Author: Onyeka Nwelue
Link: http://www.ama-awards.com/news/beyond-beauty-rwanda

RWANDA: BEYOND THE DEADLY PIT is reviewed alongside Conrad’s work “Heart of Darkness (1902)” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now (1972)” and Swedish acclaimed documentary filmmaker Peter Torbiörnsson “Last Chapter/Goodbye Nicaragua (2011)” in Dutch Review: “De Hel Is De Waarheid “.

SPAIN:

El día en que conocí al asesino de mis padres | Mundo | elmundo.es

Gilbert Ndahayo y el director de su documental, David Muñoz. (Photo Credit: El Mundo)

THE NETHERLANDS:

De Hel Is De Waarheid

Nisimazine | Interview-Portrait with Gilbert Ndahayo

IDFA 2010_ Rwanda_ Beyond the Deadly Pit – recensie – MovieScene

Nisimazine | Review | Rwanda – Beyond the Deadly Pit | Forgiveness


ITALY:

Gilbert Ndahayo | Dietro Il Convento

Jambo Africa I Gilbert Ndahayo I rwandese, miglior regista cinematografico al Festival di Silicon Valley


USA:

The Pertinence of Impertinent Storytelling in Gilbert Ndahayo’s Documentary Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17409292.2010.525112

Rwanda “Beyond the Deadly Pit” / PAFF 2010

SCREENINGS

In IN THE NEWS on October 30, 2011 at 8:09 am

THE RWANDAN NIGHTIS CURRENTLY AN OFFICIAL SELECTION OF ZIFF 2014 AND IN THE CATEGORY OF SEMBENE OUSMANE NOMINATED COMPETITION FILMS

Spring 2014 Programming:

May 11: GERMAN PREMIERE OF RWANDA: BEYOND THE DEADLY PIT AT DOKFEST MUENCHEN

“RWANDA: BEYOND THE THE DEADLY PIT”
Kinyarwanda with English subtitles
LINK: http://www.dokfest-muenchen.de/filme_view_web.php?fid=6874
DATE: Sunday 11.05. 16.00

WORKSHOP: A QUESTION OF PERSPECTIVE? DOK.network Africa
DATE: Sunday 11.05. 19.30
Participants panel discussion: Gilbert Rwandan Filmmaker (Filmmaker Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit, Rwanda) Steffen Weber (Filmmaker Zurück in den Süden, Germany) Femi Odugbemi (Director iREP Documentary Film Festival Lagos, Nigeria) Bettina Kocher (Fernsehworkshop Entwicklungspolitik, Germany)

VENUE: Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde, Maximilianstr. 42, 80538 Munich.


October 12: WORLD PREMIERE OF THE RWANDAN NIGHT AT SILICON VALLEY AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
http://www.svaff.org/index.php/documentary/documentary-feature/78-the-rwandan-night

10151327_10152019175380738_1183423889847518304_nKWIBUKA20: 

THE NETHERLANDS, Nutshuis Cinema

10330365_10152019176500738_7091480713540106759_nMay 7th, 2014: RWANDA: BEYOND THE DEADLY PIT Gilbert Ndahayo (Rwanda/USA, 2011, 104 min.)  English subtitles

Kan iemand die door genocide zijn familie verloor, zo’n trauma ooit vergeten? Of de daders vergeven? De Rwandese filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo verloor zijn beide ouders in 1994, die samen met tweehonderd dorpsgenoten bruut werden omgebracht door Hutu’s. In zijn drang met dit gruwelijke trauma om te leren gaan maakte hij een indrukwekkende en zeer persoonlijke film.

Over de gewraakte plek in het dorp waar inmiddels het massagraf geruimd wordt. Tijdens openbare verhoren stellen nabestaanden vragen aan de daders. Zo ook een hevig geëmotioneerde Ndahayo. Hij vraagt de moordenaar van zijn vader, ooit een goede bekende van de familie, hoe zijn vader stierf en hoe de dader te werk ging. In verschillende hoofdstukken komen allerlei facetten van de traumatische geschiedenis aan bod, evenals de poging tot verwerking ervan.

De overledenen krijgen alsnog een waardige begrafenis, maar met gruwelijkheden van deze omvang blijven de betekenis van begrippen als verzoening en vergeving ingewikkelde vragen oproepen.

In aanwezigheid van regisseur Gilbert Ndahayo & Zijne Excelentie Jean Pierre Karabaranga, de ambassadeur van Rwanda in Nederland.

 

ITALY: Una giornata di condivisione per la memoria delle vittime, la solidarietà ai sopravvissuti, la giustizia e la costruzione di un mondo libero dalle discriminazioni

Presentazione e proiezione in anteprima italiana del film di Gilbert Ndahayo La notte del Rwanda, regista, sopravvissuto al genocidio Premio come migliore documentario al Silicon Valley African Film Festival (California) : Introduzione e testimonianza dell’autore

ROME: 7 Aprile 2014 – Roma, Sala Protomoteca Palazzo del Campidoglio
http://www.benerwanda.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Rwanda-Roma_locandina-A31.pdf

GENOVA: 9 Aprile 2014 -Teatro della Gioventù: anche Genova ricorda le vittime del genocidio del Rwanda
http://www.genova24.it/2014/04/teatro-della-gioventu-anche-genova-ricorda-le-vittime-del-genocidio-del-rwanda-66087/

 

 

Fall 2013 Programming:
October 12: WORLD PREMIERE OF THE RWANDAN NIGHT AT SILICON VALLEY AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
http://www.svaff.org/index.php/documentary/documentary-feature/78-the-rwandan-night

Spring 2013 Programming:
April 22: RWANDAN FILMMAKER AND GENOCIDE SURVIVOR TO LECTURE AT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY
http://www.webster.edu/news/2013/news/04092013.html

LA_05_07_13ST. LOUIS, April 9, 2013 – “Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit,” a moving documentary about the Rwanda massacre, will be presented on Webster University’s main campus at 7:30 p.m. April 23 in the Winifred Moore Auditorium by Gilbert Ndahayo, the producer and director of the acclaimed film. The event is free and open to the public. Ndahayo also will visit classes at Webster to discuss his works and his life.

This film screening is being held to mark the 19th commemoration of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. April is also considered Holocaust History Month. Ndahayo was invited to speak by the Webster African Student Association and his visit is supported by Debbie Pierce, Director of the Cente r for International Studies, and the Sustainability Coalition. His appearance is sponsored by the Student Government Association.

April 7: THE RWANDAN NIGHT, 2013 COMMEMORATION EVENT IN ZURICH
http://www.rotefabrik.ch/en/konzept/eventdetail.php?id=16781

The Rwandan Night, Dok, Ruanda/USA 2013, Regie: Gilbert Ndahayo, O.m.eng.UT, 70 min..
In Anwesenheit des Regisseurs. Mit Liedern und Gedichten von Suzanne Nyiranyamibwa.

Fall 2012 Programming:

September 8 -23: RWANDA: IMAGES ET PAROLE SUR LA MORT ET LA BEAUTE
http://www.rotefabrik.ch/en/konzept/eventdetail.php?id=15250

Andrea receive a gift

Attaché culturel Edouard Bizumuremyi, Anthropologue AG and film director GILBERT RWANDAN FILMMAKER pose for a pic after the screening of “Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit”.  AG receives “Agaseke” gift from HE Ambassador Solina Nyirahabimana.

Download Gilbert’ speech (German & French version):

                           FRENCH_Gilbert_Ndahayo_ZURICH  

GERMAN_Prasentation_von_Gilbert_Ndahayo_ZURICH

Download Andrea’s presentation of the film (German version): Präsentation_Andrea_Gilbert_Ruanda_Film

Konzept: Rwanda – Bilder und Worte zu Tod und Schönheit

 ROTE FABRIK

PRÉSENTE

8. Septembre, 20h: Rwanda : Beyond the Deadly Pit, 2011, Rwanda/USA, 104 min.
Projection en présence du réalisateur Gilbert Ndahayo

23. Septembre, 19h30 Soirée de la poésie : AMAZINA Y’INKA – les noms des vaches
Suzanne Nyiranyamibwa, Gilbert Ndahayo et Aimable Kimeza Shingiro en dialogue avec Andrea Grieder

Les deux soirées thématiques sur le Rwanda sont consacrées au film documentaire d’un jeune réalisateur rescapé du génocide et des poèmes, contes et chansons des artistes rwandais. Ces derniers participent à un dialogue sur l’usage de la parole et la signification des images et de la poésie dans le processus de réconciliation individuelle et collective après le génocide perpétré contre les Tutsi en 1994.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Soirées culturelles Rwanda

PDF FILE: https://ndahayogilbert.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/soirc3a9es-culturelles-rwanda.pdf

A video of the recent Special Screening of “Rwanda–Beyond the Deadly Pit” – hosted by American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley:

Spring 2012 Programming:

April 5 -7: The 40th National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES) Annual Conference

Panel presentation: Enduring War and Surviving Genocide
Saturday, April 7, 9:00-10:15 with Richard Talbot (Chair), Cheryl Sanders, Paula Godoy-Paiz and Gilbert Ndahayo
Film screening:
Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit with Filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo
Saturday, April 7, 10:30-12:30
Downloadable link about the conference: www.ethnicstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Preliminary-Program.pdf

April 28: Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF)
Sponsored By: African & African-American Studies, Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, Film & Media Studies, French & Italian, KU Libraries, Project on the History of Black Writing, Spencer Museum of Art

Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit is an official selection of Africa World Documentary Film Festivals and scheduled to be screened on Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:50 PM – 5:30 PM (Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA).
http://www.umsl.edu/services/cis/special_projects/AWDFF/AWDFF%20-%202012/AWDFF_2012_Kansas.html

Fall 2011 Programming:

November 2 -4: The Third International Conference on Genocide: Negationism, Revisionism, Survivors’ Testimonies, Eyewitness Accounts, Justice and Memory

Film screening: “Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit” with Filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo
6:30P-8:30 PM – Hinde Auditorium – 1st Floor
Introduction of film and filmmaker, Bob Reid, The Africa Channel Executive Vice President and General Manager

http://www.csus.edu/ethn/Genocide%20Conference%202011/THIRD.International.Genocide.Conf.pdf

“I often find myself thinking about the Rwandan proverb ujya gukira indwara, arabanza akayirata – if one wants to be healed from his sickness, he must talk about it to the world. Could a survivor make a film about the genocide he survived? For twelve years, I lived with the remains of my parents and two hundred un-peaceful dead in my home’s backyard. I wanted to make a film about their death in the 1994 Tutsi’s genocide.” Gilbert Ndahayo is an independent filmmaker based in New York and an MFA candidate at Columbia University.

November 15 -17: Genocide Studies Program Seminar Series, 2011-12: Narratives of Genocide: The Collection and Use of Testimony and Use of Testimony in Genocide Studies

When: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 7:00 PM

Where: William L Harkness Hall (WLH), Room 208

Description: Genocide Studies Program Seminar Series at Yale University will host a special film screening of Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit (2010, 100 min.) followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Gilbert Ndahayo

Open To: Yale Community Only

In 1994, Gilbert Ndahayo hid to survive Rwanda’s days of genocide only to return to his childhood home to find it destroyed, his parents killed, and their corpses dumped, along with 153 bodies of his neighbors, in a pit in his back garden where he played as a boy.13 years later, Ndahayo focuses his camera and his compassion on his home in ruin, behind a convent where his neighbors had sought sanctuary. He records the quiet beauty of survivors, the haunting accounts of the nuns who witnessed the horrors, and a rare confession by one of the men who murdered his parents.

Partially “topic-driven story”, partially “character’s quest” in cinema-vérité style;, Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit was filmed over the course of three years and devastatingly contemplates the young filmmaker’s drama and his native country’s quest for forgiving and unforgiving the mass murderers.

http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/opa/default/today/default/CAL-2c9cb3cd-32a602db-0133-27711a67-00004afbbedework@yale.edu/

At the second annual Silicon Valley African Film Festival, Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit received

  • Award for Achievement in documentary film – feature length,
  • a Santa Clara County Commendation,
  • and a US House of Representative – Congressional Special Recognition.

The festival also featured Ndahayo’s debut short Scars Of My Days.

TESTIMONIALS

In IN THE NEWS on September 7, 2011 at 11:12 am

– Jean, Sacramento, California 2011
What an amazing film! The video portion of the trial and your questions to the killer of your father was so powerful and brave of you to tape for the world to see. It is raw and real.  It is a vivid memory for me and I feel that the individual emotional factor is extremely important for an audience. Unfortunately, it seems that the grand scale of an event is hard overall for people to conceptualize, so the individualizing of the suffering and cognitive factors are powerful in developing
understanding, empathy, and in turn, action for change. So many other parts of your film were moving including the discovery of bodies, the washing of the bones, the burials, the memorial sites, the April memorial and grief.

– An audience member, Silicon Valley, California 2011
The healing of Rwanda is so awesome: how to raise beyond the death. He told us that only God helped him to survive and forgive. I don’t know if I can do that.

– Barbara Waugh, Silicon Valley, California 2011
Your film burst out of the genre of documentary, even the medium of FILM. It’s something else. Like, an experience, a long visit, a… something else. I have felt this way about only one other film “Sophie’s Choice”. You take us somewhere we don’t even want to ever go, and are with us as we take in the unimaginable. thank you so much for what you did with this… I won’t say film.
Gilbert, you are awesome and your film is unforgettable. Your refusal to take easy answers, the impossibility or near impossibility – which is it? for forgiveness – the movie continues to haunt me, in a very good way.

– David Hall, Los Angeles’ Cougar News Staff Writer, 2010
Ndahayo was born during a tragic time within a nation struggling to find its balance of identity. He saw “Hotel Rwanda” in 2009 (almost a decade after its release). The movie was recommended to him by his American grad film student colleagues at Columbia University in the class of 2009.

Appears on picture on the right – is an extracted screen grab from “Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit”. The murderers in Rwanda wear in pink.

“Ndahayo’s film has caused me much soul searching… He had the opportunity to look into the pit that held the remains of family members as well as friends who did not escape the cold blooded reality of murder. President Clinton who was in office during that tragic era, called the Rwandan genocide “one of his worse failures, because I did not intervene.”

– Thierry Durand (French studies Professor, Linfield College, USA)
“The film is about knowing and the impossibility of understanding, the meaning and difficulty of forgiveness and coping. The intensity of the filming also makes it an exemplary account of the suffering of an entire country and its uncertain future… Ndahayo’s technique of superimposition confers a haunting quality that renders in a unique way the feeling of so many survivors. The film immerses us in the gaze of a survivor and his never–ending attempt to deal with loss and trauma. It is an endeavor where filming and editing one’s past becomes an affirmation of one’s survival and voice within the present.


– Roger Spottiswoode (director of the film based on the memoir of General Romeo Dallaire’s Shake Hands with the Devil)
“Gilbert, you have made a very remarkable film in which you look at yourself as well as your loved ones. You confront your grief with the same clarity as you look at others, you seem to be able to look without blinking, without turning away, whatever the pain… Do you find a need for revenge… Do you ask yourself whether you are supposed to feel forgiveness… “

– R. Z. (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
“Some movies are too important… Well, this is definitely one of them. I am happy tonight I finally got to watch your movie. And it left me with a lot of questions: Why did it happen? How could people become capable of doing these things (like the guy who said something like “we were not human nor christian. We were like madmen” – then how?)”? What exactly was the role of the French; to what extent are they to be blamed; and what about white people in general? How does Rwanda as a society cope, a society of so many orphans? What happened to the two perpetrators we saw in the gacaca? How could the second one seem too dishonest? Did you find (your) faith again?”

– BATES COLLEGE Newsletter published May 13th, 2008: Rwandan filmmaker to present work about his family, 1994 genocide
“Ndahayo provides a unique perspective… In his filmmaking, Ndahayo has had to bring objectivity to a profoundly personal and traumatic event. He can speak as both a survivor and a documentary maker who has thought critically about the challenges in conveying this story, especially as he meets the people who killed his family.”

– THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (March 2009): Africa from Within
In this film, Rwandan filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo faces his own demons and those of his country in an impassioned moment when he faces his father’s killer in the “gacaca” court.

– THESSALONIKI: Conference on Africa
According to Gilbert Ndahayo the first stage of genocide is to say: “People are not people but cockroaches, as the media that was financed by the government said … The most difficult thing was not how to make the film, but how I would go on living after the genocide. At the time people believed that if they ran to churches and monasteries they would be safe. But the murders were waiting for them. They waited for three days until all the people gathered and then they went in, they slaughtered 200 people, threw them in a hole in the ground and lit a fire. Among the murderers were the priests themselves! My parents and my sister were killed by our neighbor.”

 – L.P.R. (Madrid, Spain)

I like it (Scars Of My Days) because it’s an individual story and through it the audience can know the reality of a group.

And I’m grateful to you because I know a part of regular life in Rwanda and not just about an exceptional point in history, you has told me something new about your country. And I think we should learn to pay attention to little facts in every day life, because it’s that which lead to big situations.

PREVIEWS AT AFRICAN FILM FESTIVALS

In IN THE NEWS on August 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm

A PREVIEW OF GILBERT NDAHAYO’S FILMS

In 2009, Cape Winelands Film Festival premiered Gilbert’s films Scars of My Days and Behind This Convent in South Africa. The festival offered a brilliant blend of films including the great Egyptian master, Youssef Chahine’s Alexandria… Why? and and a retrospective of the famous Portugese director Manoel de Oliveira.
Ndahayo’s debut film Scars of My Days premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2007 in the presence of an audience that included that included former US President Bill Clinton, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Hollywood celebrities namely Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg and Everybody Loves Raymond’s producer Jane Rosenthal (co-founder of Tribeca Film Fest). Scars of My Days won First Time Director’s Golden Impala at Amakula Film Festival (2006). Gilbert is a recipient of the 2008 Verona Award for Best African Feature Film, a Signis Commendation for Best African Documentary for Behind This Convent (2008). Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit premiered in 2010 at Pan African film Festival in Los Angeles where it was nominated for Best African Documentary Feature and programmed in “Thought-Provoking Films” at the prestigious IDFA the same year.
Maine African Film Festival’s 2010 program included Gilbert Ndahayo’s debut short: Scars of My Days (30 min, 2006 – view trailer here) and Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit (100 min, 2010 – view trailer here). Gilbert was in attendance for the screenings. Below is the first full interview that GhettoBlaster’s (GB) Caroline Losneck had with Gilbert Ndahayo (Gilbert’s rare picture on set in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda):
An Interview with Filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo
By Caroline Losneck
As part of the Maine African Film Festival in Portland, Maine, GhettoBlaster’s (GB) Caroline Losneck was able to catch up with Rwandan filmmaker, Gilbert Ndahayo, who was there in support of two of his films: Scars of My Days(2006) and the documentary Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit (2010).
Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit was filmed over a period of three years and it had a world premier at the 2010 Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles, where it was nominated for Best Feature Documentary. The film is the story of the killings of Ndahayo’s parents during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and the post-genocide realities in Rwanda.
Ndahayo is the first Rwandan genocide survivor to have made a film about his experience. The short fictional film, Scars of My Days tells the story of two young men who leave their rural village to go live in Kigali, the capital and largest city in Rwanda.
Ndahayo is currently a MFA candidate in the Film Division at Columbia University and is working on four new short films: A Day in the Life, a story about a genocide survivor and a Holocaust survivor living together in New York City (which he plans to screen in early 2011); Why Me, Why Sarah?, about a couple that is navigating their way through life and their relationship; Jojo Must Die (currently in post-production), a fictionalized version of Romeo and Juliet set in the first decade of post-genocide Rwanda, about social life between the former antagonistic groups Hutus and Tutsis (without machetes on screen) and the tensions that are caused by the stress of post-genocide life and ethnicity; and Mother Rwanda, a new film in development.
GB: If someone had told you when you were a young man growing up in Rwanda that you would someday be a filmmaker living in NYC, what would you have said to them? 

GN: (Laughs) Well, my mother wanted me to be a doctor or economist because African storytellers or filmmakers or artists don’t earn a lot of money in Africa. They die poor and unsung, unheard. My mother wouldn’t want me to die poor. I was forced to explore storytelling in cinema because something horrible has happened to me. I have been waiting for thirteen years to find an appropriate way to express how my parents were killed. In November 2005, I discovered cinema and I enjoy the process of making films. In no way would I have known that I would be in the United States and making films!
GB: How do you take a story that is so specific to a particular time and place and still allow for it to be something that people relate to?
GN: That’s a really good question. I am only interested in journeys of human realities that we don’t see on television, especially the dramas. Scars of My Days is about friendship, HIV/AIDS and urban migration. The main characters are two young people who leave the village and go to the city not knowing anything about being there and being confronted by the realities of being in a new place. I follow one of the friends as he struggles for his life. It’s a kind of adventure. In the first act, we discover their lives in a traditional African village where the idle youth play football and speak of their dreams; the second act of the film, they are separated by their different dreams. And then ultimately in the third act, the friends are connected back to each other.
GB: Do you relate to a certain character in the film, or place yourself in a certain character?
GN: I was born in a traditional village in the south part of Rwanda. My father was always absent because he was at school, studying law. When he came home after almost four years, we moved to the capital city. There was this specific moment in Scars of My Days when you see the two villagers arriving in the city, looking at the beauty. They are confused but they like that kind of lifestyle. I relate to this specific moment when I was in a truck looking up at the traffic lights, the nightlights, the tall buildings and following people’s movement. People wear shoes! In the village, there is no electricity. People don’t put on shoes. It is that specific moment that I can relate to in the film, of course with some more drama.
GB: What about your other film screening this week (Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit)?
GN: As a survivor of genocide, I have a moral responsibility to the dead and to give time to remember the departed ones. Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit is basically my contribution to the world because these are the moments that my country lived. They are the moments that I lived. My grandparents, my parents, and my young sister were killed in the genocide. Fifty-two members of my extended family were killed in the genocide and their families perished 16 years ago in broad daylight. Our neighbors showed up with machetes and proceeded to kill them. At that moment, sixteen years ago, I was a young boy. I can’t tell that I understood why we were being killed. Still today, I am struggling to overcome those kinds of realities. In the same way, there are people in the world who want to understand what is going on beyond their small gates and their small apartments and these are the people who I care about reaching with my films.
GB: What is your approach to story or narrative?
GN: With Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit, I wanted to make a film that tells the reality that has not been told from inside, from somebody that survived the genocide. So, my first question before I started the film was “What can the world outside of us learn from us?” Beyond that, in my films I try to address questions like “how did I survive?” and “how did I move on?” I didn’t have a style, but I had a story and the story dictated my style. Hollywood tends to be interested in showing films that are entertaining to people and allow the filmmaker to make more money…which is a good thing for them. I think that African films are much more interested in reconciling people and events rather than punishing historical events or people. I’m sure American audiences are pretty much tired of the bad guys going to jail and the good guys who are rewarded and made heroes. So there is this space that exists today for people who want to see something different or tell something different and real.
GB: Even without these resolutions in your films and real life, are you hopeful? Are you optimistic?
GN: I am – that’s why I am here in Portland, at the Maine African Film Festival! And a month ago I was in Los Angeles showing the world premier of my film. There is a hope and a there is a space for everybody that has a story to tell. Being African or American doesn’t matter if what you have is a story to tell and allow us to show what you are coming up with on the screen.
GB: Are you well known in Rwanda? Do people recognize you there?
GN: (Laughs) I have a nickname in Rwanda. I am named after Denzel Washington because I have been an actor in two movies in the leading roles. My own films have also been shown around the country and in the villages. We actually have a festival in Rwanda called Hillywood and it’s not named after Hollywood. It is a concept of showing films in the hills of Rwanda where the films have been shot. There are not many TV sets in Rwanda. We have one TV station, which shows much of what BBC and CNN broadcast over and over. Hillywood brings a new culture, a new way of telling, seeing and hearing stories to the country. Rwandans like my films and I’m happy that my contribution to the new society, to the new Rwanda is known and acknowledged.
GB: Is there anything else you would like to mention?
GN: I’d like to recommend festivals and events like the Maine African Film Festival, which gives African filmmakers space to show their films. There are so many people here in America who have not heard about Africa, that do not know anything about Africa, or the genocide in Rwanda. What can people outside of Africa learn from inside Africa? Being here gives me the opportunity to tell a story from a Rwandan or an African perspective and from my own perspective, rather than the usual Hollywood story or the flash news on CNN or BBC. And this is who we are. We are storytellers, either Africans or Europeans or Americans.

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ΖΙΛΜΠΕΡ ΝΝΤΑΧΑΓΙΟ [review in Greek]

In IN THE NEWS on August 17, 2011 at 5:34 am

ΖΙΛΜΠΕΡ ΝΝΤΑΧΑΓΙΟ
ΤΟ ΜΕΡΙΔΙΟ ΤΗΣ ΑΦΡΙΚΗΣ
ΣΤΗ ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΟΘΟΝΗ

Ένα κινηματογραφικό φεστιβάλ δεν γιορτάζει μόνο την τέχνη του κινηματογράφου, παρέχει επίσης ένα περιβάλλον σύνδεσης των δημιουργών με ένα ακροατήριο και των ταινιών με διαφορετικές κοινότητες. Το 2007, άρχισα να επισκέπτομαι τα φεστιβάλ για να παρουσιάσω το πρώτο μικρού μήκους φιλμ μου «Σημάδια ημερών μου», μια ιστορία αγάπης στα χρόνια του ιού HIV/AIDS που διαδραματίζεται στο Κιγκάλι, την πρωτεύουσα της Ρουάντα. Οι ταινίες μου αρχίζουν πάντα με ποίηση και μια ερώτηση.

Από το 1994, συνεργεία του Χόλιγουντ και άλλων ξένων μίντια και δημιουργοί ταινιών έχουν κάνει περίπου 200 ντοκιμαντέρ και ταινίες μυθοπλασίας για τη γενοκτονία της Ρουάντα. Για μένα, έναν τοπικό κινηματο- γραφικό παραγωγό, ο τρόπος που βλέπω όλο αυτό είναι απλός: «έρχονται, κινηματο- γραφούν, και φεύγουν.» Για μια χώρα όπου η τηλεόραση είναι μόνο 15 χρονών, είναι σχεδόν αδύνατο για ένα αληθινό πολίτη της Ρουάντα να κάνει μια ταινία. Έχουμε μόνο ένα τηλεοπτικό κανάλι, καμία κινηματο- γραφική σχολή, καθόλου εξοπλισμό. Δεν υπάρχουν προγράμματα χρηματοδότησης ταινιών. Άλλες αφρικανικές χώρες αντιμετωπίζουν την ίδια μοίρα.

Υπάρχει μια παροιμία της Ρουάντα που λέει, “Umugabo arigira yakwibura agapfa” («ένας άνθρωπος που δεν μπορεί να βρει τον εαυτό του, πεθαίνει»). Σε αυτόν τον περασμένο αιώνα, η νεολαία παραιτήθηκε από την κατοχή ενός παθητι-κού ρόλου στην παγκόσμια αρένα πάνω σε διεθνή ζητήματα. Πόσο καιρό η Αφρική θα περιμένει; Πότε τα πράγματα πρόκειται να αλλάξουν; Ενώ περίμενα για την αλλαγή, άλλοι νέοι όπως εγώ περίμεναν μαζί μου. Αποφασίσαμε μαζί να αντιστρέψουμε την τάση. Ελπίζουμε να αναπτύξουμε τη χώρα μας, να αποτελέσουμε κομμάτι του μέλλο-ντος μέσω της αφήγησής μας.
Μαθαίνουμε την τέχνη του κινηματογρά- φου χωρίς θεωρία, τη μαθαίνουμε απλά γυρίζοντας ταινίες. Μερικές φορές είμαστε σε θέση να προσκαλέσουμε τους δημιουργούς ταινιών για να κάνουν ένα εργαστήριο πάνω στην κινηματογραφική τεχνική στη Ρουάντα. Στο τέλος του εργαστηρίου, παράγουμε ένα ή δύο μικρού μήκους φιλμάκια. Ηεμπειρία εκμάθησης είναι πάντα φανταστική και αυτό με οδήγησε να δημιουργήσω,το 2006, την εταιρία NDAHAYO FILMS, για να διευκολύνω τα γυρίσματα στη Ρουάντα και να συνδέσω τη νεολαία της Ρουάντα με τους καθιερωμένους δημιουργούς ταινιών. Συνεισφέροντας την εμπειρία μας, μαθαίνουμε, και αναπτύσσουμε τους νέους τρόπους να αφηγηθούμε τις ιστορίες μας.
Όσο σημαντικός είναι ο κινηματογράφος για μένα, υπάρχει μια άλλη πτυχή του έργου της ζωής μου που είναι μαζί πιο προσωπική και σημαντική. Πιστεύω ότι δεν υπάρχει κανένα μεγαλύτερο έγκλημα ενάντια στην ανθρωπότητα από τη γενοκτονία. Αισθάνομαι έντονα ότι κάθε μέλος της παγκόσμιας κοινότητας έχει μια ηθική ευθύνη να αποτρέψει τέτοια εγκλήματα και να εξαλείψει τις συνθήκες στις οποίες εκτρέφονται. Δεν μπορώ να αλλάξω τη διεθνή κοινότητα και τα Ηνωμένα Έθνη αλλά πιστεύω ότι η ταινία Πίσω απ’ αυτό το Μοναστήρι μπορεί να αγγίξει τις καρδιές του
καθένα ατομικά και να τις αλλάξει. Μαζί, μπορούμε να κάνουμε μια αλλαγή. Δεν μπορούμε να ανατρέψουμε τα ιστορικά. λάθη αλλά μπορούμε να βοηθήσουμε να τα αποτρέψουμε μέσω της εκπαίδευσης.
Τα οστά επιδιορθώνονται και τα χτυπήματα επουλώνονται. Αλλά τι γίνεται με την ψυχή ενός ατόμου; Η επούλωση είναι μια εσωτερική διαδικασία μέσω της οποίας ένα πρόσωπο γίνεται ολόκληρο άλλη μια φορά. Η δημιουργικότητα λειτουργεί ως μια διέξοδος για όλα αυτά που είναι κλειδωμένα μέσα και μπορεί να τελειώσει το βασανιστήριο του σιωπηλού πόνου. Η ευχαρίστη ση και η συγκίνηση της δημιουργικότητας πρέπει να εξερευνηθούν χωρίς το φόβο της κρίσης ή της άδικης ενοχής. Καθώς λέει το ρητό της ανατολικής Αφρικής, δεν χρειάζεται μια ολόκληρη ημέρα για να αναγνωρίσει κανείς το φως του ήλιου.

Οι Αφρικανοί μαθαίνουν πώς ναπαραγάγουν τις ταινίες που έχουν σημασία γι’ αυτούς. Μπορεί να είναι μια ιστορία σχετικά με τη βία των φύλων ή τη μαγεία στη γειτονιά. Για τις τελευταίες δύο δεκαετίες, η Νιγηρία έχει παρουσιάσει θαυμάσιες ευκαιρίες για τους ξένους επενδυτές. Με την ψηφιακή τεχνολογία, έχει καταστεί δυνατό να ενισχυθεί η δημιουργικότητα, βλέποντας αναδυόμενους αφρικανούς παραγωγούς ταινιών που θα θυσίαζαν την ποιότητα χάριν της καταγραφής της καθημερινής ζωής στην Αφρική. Ο πολιτισμός του κινηματογράφου έχει εισαχθεί ήδη σε μερικές απομακρυσμένες αφρικανικές περιοχές όπου δεν υπάρχει ούτε ηλεκτρισμός, αλλά η νεολαία μεγαλώνει με τη λαχτάρα να συμμετέχει σε αυτόν τον ανεπαρκώς αξιοποιημένο τομέα της ψυχαγωγίας.

Η Αφρική και η Ρουάντα ιδιαίτερα έχουν πλούσιες σύνθετες ιστορίες και πολιτιστικές εμπειρίες, με μια τεράστια δυναμική για τη μεγάλη οθόνη. Οι αφρικανοί παραγωγοί ταινιών και πρωτοπόροι πρέπει καλλιερ γήσουν το έδαφος και να επιτρέψουν στα παιδιά της Αφρικής να μεταλαμπαδεύσουν το φως. Μελλοντικά αστέρια θα λάμψουν στις γιγαντιαίες οθόνες και θα συνδέσουν τις αφρικανικές ιστορίες με τον υπόλοιπο
κόσμο. Ας παρουσιάσουμε το μερίδιο της Αφρικής στη μεγάλη οθόνη.

* Ο Ζιλμπέρ Ννταχάγιο, που γράφει στο Πρώτο
Πλάνο, είναι Αφρικανός κινηματογραφικός παραγω-
γός και ο σκηνοθέτης των βραβευμένων ντοκιμαντέρ
«Πίσω από αυτό το μοναστήρι» (2008, 120’) και
«Σημάδια των ημερών μου» (2006, 32’).

La tradition doit forcément évoluer [OUGANDA]

In IN THE NEWS on August 12, 2011 at 5:05 am

La tradition doit forcément évoluer
par Stéphane Waffo

tiré du METRO-MONTREAL: Montréalais d’ici et d’ailleurs
http://www.journalmetro.com/blogue/post/757052–la-tradition-doit-forcement-evoluer

Ce n’est pas une question, c’est un fait. En tout cas selon mon opinion. En regardant dernièrement le film Un prince à New York, avec Eddie Murphy, ça m’a rappelé qu’il y a bien des choses qui parfois doivent évoluer.

Lorsqu’on est le roi d’un pays ou d’un village, est-ce qu’on peut décider que son fils pourra choisir sa femme sans que la tradition lui en impose une autre? Dans son film, John Landis, le réalisateur d’Un prince à New York, a montré que tradition et habitude ne sont pas des fatalités.

Il y a des milliers d’autres situations pour lesquelles la tradition a tendance parfois à devenir lourde. Je suis tombé sur une vidéo du réalisateur rwandais Gilbert Ndahayo.

Dans un documentaire réalisé par iPhone, le cinéaste filme une coutume assez spéciale pratiquée en Uganda : les femmes doivent se prosterner tous les jours devant leur mari en signe de respect.

Oui vous avez bien lu, elles se mettent à genoux! Comme les images valent plus que les mots, voici…

Les scènes de Gilbert Ndahayo accompagnent d’autres de plusieurs réalisateurs dans le monde. Le résultat a donné le film Un jour dans la vie : le récit d’une journée sur terre, coréalisé par Ridley Scott et Kevin Macdonald. Il a été projeté cette semaine en première mondiale, dans le cadre du Festival du film de Sundance.